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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sternus vulgaris


I really like Starlings.  
They are unbelievably colourful – in the right light -reflecting all the colours of the rainbow like oil does; 
they are cheerful – always singing – any bird's song will do and it doesn't even have to be birdsong; 
gregarious – form the small flocks in your garden to the millions in a murmuration.  

And they signal to me at least, that  the  winter season is here.  We only have the odd Starling through most of the year but at the end of October they come to us in the thousand from eastern Europe and stay until – April??

They clean up all the scraps you leave out for them and lots that you don't and in repayment they decorate your washing with little offerings.

So, the last few years have been spent trying to keep them, but keep them in their place.

We had one of our trees cut down due to it undermining the patio, but it also removed one of the major day roosts for them.  Some overhanging branches have also been trimmed to keep the patio spotless and the washing carousel has been moved more into the open.

The final piece of the jigsaw was the purchase of a starling proof seed feeder today.  I don't mind what they eat, but emptying a large feeder full of seed every day is a little expensive.  I have kept and open peanut feeder as they don’t strip that bare.  But, the addition of a Nijer seed feed and protected seed feeder does mean that all the other birds can feed without the Starlings taking over.

We'll see how whether the seed bill comes down so that I can afford to buy the exorbitantly-priced sack of peanuts

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